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Red Centre tours/best way to do Uluru

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Red Centre tours/best way to do Uluru

1. Posted by Happy_Days (Inactive 36 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!


We want to see Uluru, King's Canyon etc. but are struggling to find something affordable and fits with flights. We're flying from Sydney to Ayers Rock, on a wednesday arriving 13.35 (most tours with a pick up say you need to be there before 13.30pm). We then have a flight booked on the Saturday from Alice Springs to Darwin (leaving 5pm ish). So anyone got any advice on the following:

Inclusive Tours
Tour wise, we seem to miss the pick up for most as you ahve to be at the resort by 13,30, so not sure what's best. Ideally we'd like to do one that takes us up to Alice Springs at the end rather than having to get a seperate ticket.
We'd be looking for budget tours. Any suggestions?

Going it alone - ish
We've been told about a campsite at Curtin Springs which is free :O) But has anyone ever stayed there? Is there a bus or anything that gets you to the national park where we could do day tours/or is there a bus tours that stops at the site. I've had a look online but not found much.

Going it alone - hiring a car
Anyone done this option? Where did you stay? Did you then just do day tours or completely your own things? How expensive was it?

Any advice would be very much appreciated! We really want to do the centre but struggling to find affordable option and ones that fit with our flights. We were originally told flying into Ayers Rock would be best but it seems like for most things we could have done with flying in and out of Alice Springs.

Please help, we're going in September but want to get things booked asap. I've been looking at options a while but could really do with help/advice on this one.

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5109 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

You definitely don't need to go on any kind of organized tour for Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Just rent a car (pickup at the airport) and do your own thing. There's lots of information about what you'll be seeing on the various trails. I never made it out to King's Canyon though, so I don't know how doable that is on your own. (I'd expect it to be not too difficult, though.)

Cheapest rate I see for car hire from Wednesday to Saturday in September, from AYQ to ASP (the two airports), is with Hertz for (AUD) $280. This is mostly that expensive because of it being one way. Drop off back in AYQ would make the price go down to $150.

[ Edit: Edited on 09-Jun-2010, at 11:36 by Sander ]

3. Posted by timtravels (Respected Member 350 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Like Sander said, you don't need to go on an organised tour for Uluru and Kata Tjuta, if you rent a car at the airport you'll have a great time exploring by yourself. You'll probably want a day to see Uluru and a Day to see Kata Tjuta, last time I was there a 3 day park pass was about $25 per person, although I think some people were onselling their passes with one or two days left at Curtin Springs. I don't think there's a dedicated bus to go from here to Uluru, but you might be able to organise a tour pickup.

Kings Canyon is well worth a visit and you'll need a day there to appreciate it, do the walk that goes around the top of the canyon.

I stayed at Yularta near Ulury which was about $30 a night for a powered camp site, I figured the extra time and fuel it would cost to go back to Curtin Springs would be a bigger cost. I stayed at Kings Canyon Resort when out at Kings Canyon which was also about $30 a night for a powered camp site.

4. Posted by Happy_Days (Inactive 36 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!


Thanks to both of you. We had looked at hiring a car but wondered how much we'd end up going over the inclusive kms, going to try and work it out. I've been looking today at the campsite at the resort which has some availability so that maybe an option and then a coach to Alice Springs.

Thanks again, was just seeing prices of tours and stuff and getting a bit worried about how we'd do it but great to see it's do-able on your own.

Thanks so much